Criminal defense attorney weighs in on Desmaret representing himself in || Criminal defense attorney

Criminal defense attorney weighs in on Desmaret representing himself in

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The jury selection process of a high-profile murder trial continues on Thursday.

Wisner Desmaret is accused of shooting and killing Fort Myers Police Officer Adam Jobbers-Miller back in July 2018.

Desmaret is representing himself in the death penalty case. While a criminal defense attorney says it’s Desmaret’s legal right, it makes it even more challenging for everyone involved.

“It’s particularly rare on such a serious case,” said defense attorney Spencer Cordell.

Cordell is not involved in the case but is familiar with it.

Since the beginning of the case, Desmaret’s competency has come into question several times.

Experts had already been asked to evaluate his mental competency, where they look at different factors and ask several questions.

“In essence, does he understand the nature of the charges against him, is he able to conduct himself properly in a courtroom, does he understand who the parties are, what the procedures are,” Cordell explained. “It’s fairly low standards.”

He was found competent to stand trial after multiple evaluations.

Cordell says legally he’s able to represent himself and can do so because he was found competent.

“There is no competency standard for representing yourself,” Cordell said.

But the judge will have a hearing to go over several things.

“The court will go through the factors with him and give him the opportunity to change his mind,” Cordell said.

Judge Robert Branning has given Desmaret the opportunity for counsel many times throughout the process, including jury selection.

“To be fair, you have, on multiple occasions, refused my request to appoint counsel,” Branning told Desmaret on Monday.

Desmaret does have what Cordell says is called standby counsel. Defense attorney Lee Hollander is sitting next to Desmaret.

“That attorney is there to answer some questions for him, give him some legal advice,” Cordell said. “These things are really tricky kinds of cases.”

Cordell said if competency issues come up during the trial, it could change things.

“Any death penalty case is a challenging and complicated case, and throw in an individual with zero training,” Cordell said. “It’s hard for everybody involved.”

Criminal defense attorney weighs in on Desmaret representing himself in

The man accused of killing a Fort Myers officer is representing himself in the death penalty case. A criminal defense attorney says it’s his legal right. but it makes it very challenging for everyone.

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